Senators Call on Reid to Use Reconciliation For Public Option

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Senators Call on Reid to Use Reconciliation For Public Option

AlterNet – Today, Democratic senators Mike Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand, Sherrod Brown, and Jeff Merkley wrote an open letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, urging him to give the public health care option a winning chance by employing reconciliation.

The letter follows—

Dear Leader Reid:

We respectfully ask that you bring for a vote before the full Senate a public health insurance option under budget reconciliation rules.

There are four fundamental reasons why we support this approach – its potential for billions of dollars in cost savings; the growing need to increase competition and lower costs for the consumer; the history of using reconciliation for significant pieces of health care legislation; and the continued public support for a public option.

A Public Option Is an Important Tool for Restoring Fiscal Discipline.

As Democrats, we pledged that the Senate health care reform package would address skyrocketing health care costs and relieve overburdened American families and small businesses from annual double-digit health care cost increases. And that it would do so without adding a dime to the national debt.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) determined that the Senate health reform bill is actually better than deficit neutral. It would reduce the deficit by over $130 billion in the first ten years and up to $1 trillion in the first 20 years.

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